It’s unfortunate that Reddit has banned three major ‘alt-right’ subreddits, /r/altright, /r/rightyfriends and /r/alternativeright for allegedly breaching the company’s content policy that restricts the sharing of personal, private information. It’s without a doubt that this will be viewed as just another attempt to censor dissenting, conservative views. The rise of Donald Trump’s political campaign led to the growth of the so-called ‘Alt-right’ group which had roughly 16,000 followers and grew in popularity last summers.
Reddit is yet to issue a formal statement on the ban. However, The Daily Beast offered some comments that state that Reddit is the proud home of the most authentic conversation online. In a statement that Reddit provided to The Daily Beast, the company claims that it strives to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting their users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to the company’s content policy.
In a statement made by a Reddit moderator, the company is very clear in its site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit and he also urged the communities not to post content that harasses or invites harassment, adding that Reddit has banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the content policy terms. He also added that there is no single solution to the controversial issue as he emphasized that they are engaging with the Reddit community to enhance everyone’s experience.
In a statement made by a senior moderator, Bill Simpson to The Daily Beast, the forum was banned without notification or justification, adding that moderators enforced stricter standards of behavior that surpassed Reddit requirements. Simpson also pointed out that the subreddit was banned because of its recent record monthly traffic. He said that it was clear that Reddit banned them because they were becoming very popular and spreading inconvenient truths about who’s ruining our country.
This announcement was made just days after Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian penned an open letter that trashed Trump’s immigration ban, calling it deeply un-American and potentially unconstitutional.